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The Lost American Tradition: American Foreign Public Engagement & the Origins of American Public Diplomacy, 1776 - 1948

Schindler, Caitlin Elizabeth (2014) The Lost American Tradition: American Foreign Public Engagement & the Origins of American Public Diplomacy, 1776 - 1948. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

Most of the existing literature on American public diplomacy focuses on both historic and present-day use. Literature by academics and practitioners, as well as government reports and studies done by think tanks, all repeatedly highlight the same problems affecting public diplomacy of the United States (from the end of World War II through today): an absence of strategy - what public diplomacy should do and how; as well as clearly defining the role of public diplomacy in American statecraft; and uneven and ineffective implementation. Interestingly, some of the literature on public diplomacy recognizes the practice to date back before the twentieth century, yet there are no studies examining public diplomacy practice prior to the twentieth century. This study offers a new approach to evaluating and understanding the use of public diplomacy in American statecraft by broadening the understanding and interpretation of diplomacy. The aim of this research is to understand how past uses and techniques of foreign public engagement evolved into modern public diplomacy as a tool of American statecraft. The study explores six historic cases where the United States’ government or private American citizens actively engaged with foreign publics, starting with the American Revolution in 1776 through the passage of the Smith-Mundt Bill of 1948. Each case looks specifically at the role foreign public engagement plays in American statecraft, while also identifying trends in American foreign public engagement and making connections between past practice of foreign public engagement and public diplomacy, and analysing how trends and past practice or experience influenced modern American public diplomacy.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Media and Communication (Leeds)
Depositing User: Leeds CMS
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2015 09:28
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2015 09:28
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9150

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